I miss the sun. I miss the sun so much I can feel my body aching for it at the cellular level. I regard my face and arms in the mirror, wondering if they could possibly get any pastier. Will this New York winter ever end?
Two weeks ago I was speaking to a doctor who told me the initial research for rickets was conducted in Rochester, our nearest cosmopolitan neighbor. No surprise. The doctor, while he rehearsed factoids about vitamin D to me, sat bent over his shoelaces. That cold afternoon his wife expected a flood of houseguests—about 50 women intent on scones and tea. As a consequence, the doctor was preparing to make his exit before too many of them ambled over the frozen mud outside and seeped into every recess of his house.
Every stationary object in the house was covered in polka-dotted fabric and decked with fine china. A bridal shower of the highest order was about to erupt. And for the first time in a while, it wasn’t for me. It was for my best friend.
Both Kayla and I are starting to wonder if all our snow will melt in time for our May weddings. And so are our mothers.
Kayla’s fiancé, Murad, grew up in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. That he came all the way to New York and lived through his first American winter just to be with Kayla proves to all of us that he truly loves her. He hates the cold, and sleeps in his winter coat.
“Ees it always like theese?” he asks Kayla.
“No,” she says, explaining that this year is spectacularly terrible. The natives shiver almost as much as he does.
Murad was about the last groom any of us expected for Kayla. Good country girls like her are supposed to marry the boy from the farm down the hill, not fly to Africa as a medical missionary and bring home a strapping Ethiopian who has never seen a drinking fountain, much less suffered a New York winter. But as usual, life delivered the unexpected. We are all glad.
That afternoon was full of tinkling china and giggling females who wanted to know the scoop on Kayla’s fiancé. As she began to open her mountain of gifts, she regaled us with tales of Murad’s transition to American life, complete with an imitation of his accent.
Murad looks at our tiny sun in the distance and says, “That ees not real sun. It ees fake.”
As I write, I’m riding in my little car, passing by the world that has only begun to dry out. I think Murad is right. My father says the robins moved in seven days ago, and I see one scuttling along the road. But the road is still is hemmed in snow. The “fake” sun is out today. I hope it will reach its fingers down all day long. Melt, New York. I need the vitamin D.